Trick Your Mind: Be Still Your Beating Heart
Quell your fear of relationships with these quick tips
Every generic love story chronicles the moment when the protagonist realizes they’re head over heels for some romantic interest. For some of us in the non-fictional realm, instead of our stomachs filling with butterflies, they drop at this kind of realization. The amount of circular thinking that leads to the conclusion that a relationship would be a mistake is astounding. Whether it’s over-thinking, self-doubt, or pressure from your friends, these tips are here to help you rethink how you trick yourself out of relationships.
1. Make it clear what you want out of the relationship, on both ends. Nothing is worse than getting really interested in someone and finding out they don’t want anything serious. Save yourself some heartache and be open about what you want so there isn’t any panic-inducing miscommunication. This includes how far you want to go physically. A good partner will respect your body and your boundaries.
2. Don’t let your friends pressure you. No matter how much I like someone, it always seems like my friends are more excited than I am, and that makes me question the feelings I have. Your friends are a big influence, but that doesn’t mean you should allow them to change your mind. Maybe don’t share everything with your friends right away. Give yourself time to decide how you feel and what you want before you account for other opinions.
3. Remind yourself that this person would not make the effort if they were not interested. They have decided you are worth their time, so stop thinking you are any less. Don’t apologize for texting them novels, or keeping them up late, or any other matter of things you could possibly think would weird them out. You do not need to apologize for being who you are, and if they are making the effort to respond in kind, then try to trust they are genuine.
4. If you are uncomfortable thinking in the long-term, make it clear that you feel this way. Experiment by going on dates, and if you aren’t comfortable, you do not have to go on another. A date doesn’t mean you are in a relationship. It doesn’t confer some magical romantic partner status. It simply means you went on a date, and it is okay not to want anything past that. Don’t freak out thinking that you’re obligated in any way to go further than you are comfortable.
5. Put your phone away. I know, you might be freaking out and questioning everything. Sending a text with some excuse about how you aren’t ready for a relationship right now might seem like an easy way out. I will admit to shooting out a few of these texts myself. But 90 percent of the time that immediate relief turned into regret. You never know what you’ll get out of something if you end it before it even starts, and you can hurt your partner. Your anxieties are normal; don’t let them control you. If you’re stressing over your budding relationship, put your phone away to avoid temptation.
6. Understand that you are in control of your relationships, and that you are not sacrificing your independence just because you want to be closer with someone. It took me a long time to realize that being in a relationship didn’t mean I needed to change who I was. You do not have to sacrifice yourself to make room for someone else, and they should not expect you to.